Sophomore Terance Mann, a guard on the Florida State basketball team, is quickly becoming one of the Seminoles’ most respected leaders. He has raised the bar on his expectations for his sophomore season after being a member of Florida State’s renowned recruiting class in 2015.
His leadership will be on dislplay Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center as the Seminoles play host to Winthrop in their third game of the season.
The spotlight of being a collegiate athlete comes with a great amount of responsibility both on and off the court – something Mann learned early in his life.
He grew up watching his mother, a college basketball coach, encourage her players to participate in community outreach efforts. Through such efforts, Mann saw firsthand the significant impact student-athletes can make on their communities.
“When I got to high school, my coach was really big on community service. He would always take us places to play basketball with kids,” Mann said. “He always taught us that these kids look up to us.”
That powerful lesson has been the reason for his constant involvement in his community. For Mann, community service isn’t looked at as a chore, but an opportunity to be positive role model.
“I know that a lot of people look up to athletes around this community,” said Mann. “Going out and showing kids that we are normal people just like them is a big deal. Some people are quick to say things like, ‘Oh well, they are just athletes and they don’t care about anything or anyone else’ and that’s absolutely not true. Showing the community we are just like them really helps us to be better people and helps our community.”
Last season, the Florida State men’s basketball team partnered with the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend in Coaching for Literacy, a program designed to raise awareness about illiteracy in America and provide financial support to fundraise for effective, local literacy programs.
“I am so proud when our players support our community and give back to the people who mean so much to our program.” said Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton. “Our players enjoy meeting and interacting with children of all ages because they know that they are role models.”
The Coaching for Literacy event was held at The Florida State University Children’s Center where members of the team, including Mann, read the “Cat in the Hat” books to children on Dr. Seuss Day.
“Terance is one of our leaders because he knows his actions affect how people view our team,” said Hamilton. “For Terance to embrace community service as much as he has says a lot about him as a person and about his own family. He comes from a wonderful, close-knit family that has instilled in him a deep appreciation for giving back.”
In addition to his role on the men’s basketball team, Mann is an active member in several student athlete organizations including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and leadership programs R.E.A.L. Men, which stands for Reliable Educated Approachable Leaders and L.Y.F.E. which stands for Leaders Yearning for Excellence.
“R.E.A.L Men focuses on social issues that face male student-athletes – from picking the right friends to preparing and knowing how to network, to using their platform to build yourself and be an assistant to others,” said Assistant Director of Student Service Derrick Coles. “Terance has been very vocal in our meetings, sharing his experiences and insights. He has so much potential to be one of the guys that becomes remembered not just for his on the court accomplishments but his off the court endeavors.
Mann has also been recognized as a key service leader in Florida State’s L.Y.F.E program, where he received the “Mr. Outreach Award” as a freshman.
“Receiving that award made me realize that I didn’t know how much I was actually doing for the community.” said Mann. “It was nice to win the award and to know the impact I was making. I don’t do it for the awards. Anyone could have won it. We all were out there doing community service in LYFE. It was a big deal.
LYFE is a program that is dedicated to preparing student-athletes for life after graduation by increasing academic motivation and success as well as potential career opportunities and this year.
“Terance embodies the ideals and characteristics we want all of our student-athletes to exhibit every day.” said Assistant Athletic Director for Student Athlete Services Dr. John Lata. “He inspires his teammates on a daily basis by his selflessness and commitment to service.”
Even with the start of basketball season, Mann continues to stay plugged in to his leadership role as a student-athlete mentor for current FSU freshmen.
“The high standards Terance sets for himself, in terms of giving back help guide his teammates and other student athletes,” said Lata. “We are proud of how he represents himself, his family, and Florida State University.”
By Hope Carpinello
Florida State Sports Information